Police called after students protest over toilet access

Police were called to Richmond School and Sixth Form this morning after a disturbance involving students.

The disturbance occurred as pupils held a protest about access to toilets.

During the protest, at least one fire extinguisher was let off in the school grounds.

It is claimed a tree got set on fire, at least one teacher was pushed over and a window got smashed, although these reports have not been confirmed.

Videos being shared on social media show more than a dozen pupils involved in the protest and an extinguisher being activated by a male pupil.

Richmondshire Today understands the protest was planned by students after the school moved to lock the toilets during lesson time and for a period over break time.

It is claimed a petition was initially proposed but then students decided to go to the lunch hall and refuse to go to lessons.

Some students then left the hall and went outside, which is when the fire extinguisher was taken and set off.

Pupils have told their parents that 20 students have been permanently excluded due to the disturbance.

One student said: “Some people protesting about the fact that all the toilets have been closed.

“Some people set off fire extinguishers and now we’re not allowed out for break. Class has been extended.

“A bunch of pupils have been rounded up by police outside.”

Jenna Potter, headteacher at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, said in a statement to Richmondshire Today: “A small group of students has protested against the use of toilets during lesson time.

“Richmond School and Sixth Form College is proud of promoting the highest standards of behaviour and this unacceptable approach is extremely disappointing.

“The overwhelming majority of students were equally shocked at the behaviour of a small minority. Students have already been consulted and will continue to contribute to a solution.”

Nort Yorkshire Police said in a statement: “Police were contacted at 9.40am this morning to reports of criminal damage taking place at Richmond School.

“Local neighbourhood officers who were in the area attended, along with local Police Community Support Officers to provide reassurance.

“They established no criminal activity had taken place and the matter has been left with the school to deal with.”


  1. Disgusting to stop children having right to use toilets most people can’t train their bodies to go to the toilets at certain times

      • I was a victim of this and I am just going to say no tree was set on fire, but I am also going to say I need a break from this nonsense. I wish I did not have to deal with all of this, but I have to if I want a good education.

    • if they weren’t eating, congregating 6 to a cubicle , vandalising, smashing them up. and constantly vaping things maybe different.

    • Surely it is a violation of a person’s basic human rights to be prevented from going to the toilet? The school appears to have neglected it’s duty of care to students in doing this. This issue has been brewing for over 6 months and I am not at all surprised this has happened. My daughter has had some very unpleasant experiences with male teachers entering the girl’s toilets and banging on doors and yelling for them to get out. What has Richmond School become? Frankly the police ought to investigating the school staff behavior.

      • This IS a violation of basic human rights as when you need to go you need to go as for male teachers entering female toilets this is sexual perversion and a criminal act voyeurism. All it takes is for 1 lass to say she was inappropriately touched and bang

    • as a student here this has everything to do those students wanting a place to vape and skip lessons.

  2. As a student at this school its disappointing to see members of my year to be participating in this

  3. All the toilet doors are guarded by teachers who decide who’s allowed to use the toilet and for how long😂😂😂😂. Grown adults administrating the toilet use of 12 year olds, quite odd😂😂😂😂

  4. Terrible behaviour of students, whose parents will likely blame everyone but their precious angels…fully support the school and hopefully they put an end to wasted time used in toilets vaping and silly behaviour in toilets during class time

    • At last a sensible comment. constant damage caused by theses angels who think they can just do as they please .
      the majority of those protesting probably caused the issues in the first place

    • So by that logic us students not wanting to walk halfway across the school (mainly on our periods if afab) to get a key only to be told off for being out of class is poor behaviour from all? Or is it a select few having poor choices? Hm?

  5. if they weren’t eating, congregating 6 to a cubicle , vandalising, smashing them up. and constantly vaping things maybe different.

  6. This reminds me back in 1984/85 at Richmond school when the teachers were going on strike and it was our final year and our exams were coming up and obviously getting the knowledge we needed to hopefully pass our exams was very important for us. So we got fed up of turning up to school for one lesson then having to get home and for some they were well out of Richmond up in the dales so turned the tables on the teachers and we went on strike when they decided that they would teach . We made the headlines then, it was very peaceful but the police were called then too.

  7. Although these students took it too far, I agree with the message. Not giving students their basic human rights needs to change.School is for learning, We should focus on that rather than enforcing silly rules.That being said, causing harm isn’t the answer.A peaceful protest would have gone a lot further 👍🏼

    • School is not just for learning, it’s for teaching and guidance.
      When students abuse the toilets that they are allowed to use for sanitary purposes they have no right abusing that privilege.

      Since when do children run the adults in a school.

      Actions have consequences. Being children they need to learn that, especially at a school.

  8. Honestly feeling kind of mixed about this, seeing as it is a problem, everyone has different circumstances and it can be really annoying to go during break and lunch, seeing as it is the mass majority trying to go at the same time. As a student at Richmond myself I feel that mass punishment for those who did nothing wrong should not be applied here. Examples such as students with medical issues or students with periods should be taken into account. I personally do not want to walk to the reception just for a key to sort my period. I agree that the ‘peaceful’ protest got out of hand but I feel it should be listened to. Thanks

  9. To use the toilets when required is a basic human necessity. It appears the school in a heavy handed approach has decided to penalise all the well behaved students due to the behaviour of a few badly behaved ones? As discipline is clearly necessary- this kind of disruptive behaviour cannot be tolerated – surely the school can put in place protocols to deal with this and grip the actual troublemakers. I suggest the school liaises with the police to find a solution to the anti social behaviour, but please, do not cast a blanket to disadvantage those that behave in a good manner.

  10. Basic human rights are being unfairly ignored by this school. Well done for speaking up for your rights!

    Teachers striking also?

    Same school: as the cost of living is getting out of control but parents on and below the bread line expected to pay extortionate prices for uniform? The same items of uniform can be purchased at a fraction of the price but have no little embroiders badge on

  11. Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name,
    your kingdom come,
    your will be done,
    on earth as in heaven.
    Give us today our daily bread.
    Forgive us our sins
    as we forgive those who sin against us.
    Lead us not into temptation
    but deliver us from evil.
    For the kingdom, the power,
    and the glory are yours
    now and for ever.

  12. I agree with stopping those hiding in the toilets and causing trouble, however it’s not fair to stop those who actually need the toilet!! My daughter got marked as late to lesson as she dared to go to the toilet on way from one class to another due to being on her period this could not have waited!!
    I don’t think my children are angels at all, I’m very realistic to kids behaviour. However I do feel this is going too far!
    She was told it is to help them adjust to working life!! I’ve had a few different kinds of jobs and at none of them was I given set times to go to the toilet! Yes if you can go in your break you should but that’s not always possible. I know of a couple of the younger students who have had accidents as we’re too scared to ask to go to the toilet during lesson as they would be told no!!

  13. I have a year 7 and a year 10 pupil at the school who wouldn’t voluntarily use the toilets at all during the day due to the characters who congregate in there. Same characters who seem to roam the school unchallenged when they should be in lessons. Time to get a grip on the individuals rather than punishing the majority who get precious little break time for resilience and socialisation as it is.

    If any good comes of this, it’ll be the good reason to get the culprits off down the road so they stop impacting everyone else’s education and wellbeing.

    • Too right for students standing up to use the bogs. There are other waits of tackling vaping and socialising in the loos! Damaging property was not necessary but it clearly got more attention so they got what they wanted!

  14. Badly handled from the start, should never have got to this. My daughter does not drink any water all day at school so she does not have to try to get access to a toilet.

  15. As a student at richmond school, I personally got quite frightened during this as i didn’t know what was going on. I was scared about what I had heard, Tree set on fire, teacher being pushed over, etc. But this could of all been prevented by the school, I put all blame on them. It was originally just a petition, but they got told that would never get anywhere and too stop, so unfortunately it had to come to this. I personally think that violence was not the way to go but completely support the message

  16. Going to the toilet during lessons is something thats has been an issue for as long as I can remember – teachers aren’t changing how they react to students asking to go to the toilet, it’s exactly the same. By the sound of it, students can go to the toilet during lesson, they just have to speak to someone to gain access. To be honest, given what has been happening to the toilets (vaping, destruction, used for general truanting), it’s not surprising at all.

    If you feel like the approach the school has taken on this is “over the top”, what do you actually suggest they do to stop the truanting, destruction and fire alarms going off because of vaping?

    As for those saying “don’t punish the many because of the few”, there are laws built on this principle. We can’t carry certain tools in public because people abused the freedom, and now we have the Offensive Weapons Act; we can’t have a nice pint in a public place, because people abused the freedom.

    • With regards to how the school deal with the truanting students who are skiving, vaping, and being general rat-bags, why aren’t there spot-checks/monitoring of the toilets? Surely it would be easy enough to stick their head into the toilets and see/hear a group of students who shouldn’t be in there? I feel this isn’t the best way for the school to deal with the issue, and penalising the majority for the minority’s behaviour, isn’t showing that there’s consequences for individuals, it’s that everyone gets punished for a handful students who clearly need to have more strict consequences for their appalling behaviour.

  17. As a student I fell that when I have my period and are told I’m not aloud to the toilets it’s a discrase and I know people vape in the toilets but that shouldn’t stop the people who need to go to go it’s my right as a human

  18. You can’t take away the kid’s rights to use the toilet. Power to those young people! It’s nice to see that they’re capable of standing up for what they believe is injustice at Richmond School.

  19. its a human right to go to the toilets theres teachers banging on doors telling you to get out and they choose if you can go in or not. male teachers come into the bathrooms theres cameras in bathrooms and teachers guard the toilets. of course students were going to protest about this sooner or later as a student before i have been told many times i cannot go to the bathroom even when i was on my period and i told them its disgusting how schools are most schools in the uk are like this.

  20. To solve the problem over toilets you need a responsible person/s male for male toilets and female for female toilets to be like a security guard to use a detector to detect anything illegal, not to use hands directly on a child…children need to use the toilets not all kids can hold there bladder..if anyone had dihorrehea or any serious health issue, it would then be a liability on the school preventing a child for use of toilet…it is dangerous to hold on to the bladder or bowel it can cause health problems look up the dangers on human anatomy holding bladder what it can do to a person..there are disabled kids who need toilets…girls have cycles there needs are important..this is against human rights and closing anyone out in need of a toilet can be in serious trouble and could be seen as a form of abuse..I will not allow my daughter in school till all this crisis gets sorted out I do not want her in danger..

  21. Best day of school ever. Disappointed it came to an end wanted to see more and more stuff happening. All the people that protested your legends 😘

    Also got to miss English which is great 👍

  22. shocking. it’s a human right! if you let students go to the toilet in lesson then none of this would of happened. It’s stupid. What about girls on their period? They can’t help that can they. What people did today (not talking about the protesting) but the fire and punching a teacher shouldn’t have happened but students have the right to protest and disagree on something that is a human right. Richmond school need to get it sorted

  23. Its important to note amongst all the hyperbole that the police “established no criminal activity had taken place and the matter has been left with the school to deal with.”

  24. Good work lads totally worth it missed English and if I need a jack right I’m going so good work

  25. I was an SFX student now at a college in Darlington,
    I believe the reason behind closing the toilets during lessons was to prevent students from leaving lessons to vape in the toilets. This is understandable and I think students vaping is a serious problem, however, this is definitely not the right approach to stop it. It acts as a blanket punishment to all students who have the right to use the bathroom rather than just stopping those who use it as a vape space. There are other measures that can and should be taken to prevent this

  26. To be honest, they should be allowed full say in a problem like this but i think being violent about it is too much. (Now im gonna get told off in school for sharing my opinion aren’t I)

  27. hello. I recently found out about this whole matter last week when my daughter had kebab and had to unlock the water taps the next day at school. Her skirt was brown! It was crazy! I had to buy a new skirt because hers was as stiff as a brick. Disgraceful it is important to note students food habits like my daughter I’m sure many of us would need to open the floodgates during school maybe even maths. please fix this it is very disgusting and my house stunk for three months plus. Thank you for your time!

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